- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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It obviously takes talented players to put together a 29-game winning streak.
How talented? Florida State could be in rarefied air once the draft is completed in early May. With a nation-leading five early entrants in the draft, Florida State is on course to have at least 11 players selected.
If that happens, Florida State will have 29 players drafted over the last three years, more than any other team since the draft was cut down to seven rounds in 1994. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the last school that had at least 29 players drafted over a three-year period was Texas, with 31 taken from 1982-84.
Only two programs have had 28 players taken since 2002: Miami (2002-04) and USC (2008-10).
Those Miami teams are widely regarded as among the best all-time at producing NFL talent. Of those 28 drafted, 15 went in the first round. Florida State will not come close to that first-round number, having had four first-round picks in 2013 and 2014 with a handful projected for 2015.
But there is an interesting debate to be had between this recent Florida State stretch that produced a national championship, 29 straight wins and potentially more overall picks, and the Miami stretch that produced a national championship, 34 straight wins and more first-round picks.
Is the 2001 Miami championship team head-and-shoulders above the 2013 Florida State championship team? That question is worth discussion.
What is not up for debate is where this Florida State group stands compared to its other talented teams. This three-year stretch blows any other in school history away. Until now, its most drafted three-year group was 22 from 1993-95.
It goes without saying that coach Jimbo Fisher has done a tremendous job on the recruiting trail. Not only is he signing top-flight classes, he is taken the highly skilled players in those groups and developing them into professional talents at rapid-fire rates. Fisher can boast that better than just about anyone.
Here is a look at the recent three-year stretches Florida State, Miami and USC have put together in the NFL draft:
2002 draftees: 11
First round: Five -- Bryant McKinnie, Jeremy Shockey, Phillip Buchanon, Ed Reed, Mike Rumph
2003 draftees: Eight
First round: Four -- Andre Johnson, Jerome McDougle, Willis McGahee, William Joseph
2004 draftees: Nine
First round: Six -- Sean Taylor, Kellen Winslow, Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams, Vernon Carey, Vince Wilfork
2008 draftees: 10
2009 draftees: 11
2010 draftees: Seven
First round: None
FLORIDA STATE, 2013-15
2013 draftees: 11
2014 draftees: Seven
First round: One -- Kelvin Benjamin.
2015 draftees: TBD
189dDavid M. Hale
239dDavid M. Hale
572dDavid M. Hale
575dGreg Ostendorf and David M. Hale
628dDavid M. Hale
633dDavid M. Hale
640dDavid M. Hale